Here’s everything you need to know about international driving permit. This article will how to apply for an international driving license online and offline. Find the whole step-by-step procedure to apply, documents requirement, fee charges for the application, and more.
Driving a vehicle in a foreign country requires an international driving permit. It is also required when you rent a self-drive car. Unfortunately, the current driving license you have in India will not be accepted as a valid document for driving and renting a car outside the country.
If you are moving abroad or going to travel to another country, you have to get an international driving license to be able to drive on foreign roads legally. You can apply for this permit from India itself.
This will save you a lot of time and headache since you don’t have to apply for the native driving license of the country you are travelling to, which can be a very lengthy and complicated process.
Table of Contents
International driving license overview
An international driving permit (also known as IDP) is a document that allows an individual to drive a motor vehicle legally in foreign countries. It is usually valid for one year and is issued by the relevant government authority in the country of residence. The following table shows an overview of international driving permit –
|International Driving Permit
|To get an international driving license
|Driving licence copy, identify proof, address proof, VISA and passport
|Form 4A and 1A
|Nearly 150 countries
|Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH)
|Government of India
The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has launched an online portal called Parivahan Sarathi that provides all driving licence-related services including the international driving permit (IDP).
The online application process is very straightforward and convenient compared to the offline method that requires you to visit the RTO and submit your application in person.
Note: It is important to apply for an international driving permit before you travel since it is not available in the country you are travelling to. The permit will take around 4-5 days to arrive so make sure you have enough time to receive it.
How to get an international driving permit online
Here’s a step-by-step guide to applying for an international driving licence online using the Parivahan Sarathi portal –
- Visit the Parivahan Sarathi website at https://parivahan.gov.in/sarathiservice/. Alternatively, you can search for this website on Google.
- Select your state name. The website will take you to the regional transport department webpage.
- Choose Apply for International Driving Permit (IDP) from the list of services. Tap the Continue button to proceed.
- Provide your driving license number and date of birth on the following webpage. Enter the captcha code and then tap on Get Details button. After that, you will see personal details and particulars of your existing license. Confirm that it is yours by selecting Yes. Enter your pincode and select RTO office. Then tap on Proceed button to continue.
- Once again, you will be asked to select the required DL service you want to apply for. Tick mark on “Issue of International Driving Permit” button and click on Proceed.
- On the next page, you need to fill up an online form. Enter all the required details such as your birth place, birth country, passport number, passport validity date, country for which you want to request IDP for, VISA number and more. After you have filled in all the details, tap on Submit button to continue.
- Next, you can attach all the necessary documents such as your identity proof, driving license, address proof, passport, and others. Submit these documents along with the required forms.
- The final step is to make the payment for the international driving permit. You can use any of the accepted payment options such as debit/credit card, net banking etc., and pay the required fee (₹1000). Download and save the payment receipt for future reference.
Voila! You have successfully submitted your application for an international driving permit (IDP). The whole process will take around 5-10 minutes. Once after this, you can visit the RTO on your appointed time and take the driving licence test.
How to apply for an international driving license offline
A second way to obtain an international driving permit is through the offline method. This requires you to submit your application directly at the RTO. Here are the steps you need to follow –
- Step 1: Visit the Regional Transport Office (RTO) where your driving license was issued.
- Step 2: Ask the representative to provide you copies of Form 4A and 1A. Fill out these forms correctly.
- Step 3: Provide all the required details and attach copies of your identity proof, address proof, passport, VISA and other necessary documents.
- Step 4: Submit your application along with the attached documents.
- Step 5: Pay the application fee (₹1000) for the International Driving Permit (IDP).
- Step 6: Take the driving licence test.
Once your application has been submitted and approved by the RTO, you will receive your international driving license within 3-4 days. Please make sure to carry both your original DL and IDP while driving a vehicle on foreign roads.
Documents requirement for international driving license
The following documents are required to apply for an international driving permit (IDP) –
- Form 4A – Form of application for issue of international driving permit to drive a motor vehicle in other countries.
- Form 1A – Medical certificate to declare that you are physically fit to drive.
- Identify proof such as your Aadhaar card.
- Copy of address proof.
- Original driving license of the applicant.
- Copy of your passport.
- Copy of VISA.
- Copy of your air ticket for verification.
- Passport size photographs.
Fee charges for international driving permit
The fee for an international driving permit in India is ₹1000. The license is valid for a period of one year from the date of issue. A renewal fee of ₹2000 is applicable after the expiry of the license.
|International Driving Permit
|IDP application fee
|IDP renewal fee
Benefits of international driving permit (IDP)
There are several benefits of an international driving permit if you are moving abroad or going for travel to another country. Below we have listed some of these benefits –
- You will be able to drive a vehicle on foreign roads legally. An IDP is valid in around 150 countries.
- It can help prevent language barriers and misunderstandings when engaging with local law enforcement.
- Having an IDP also means that the driver is familiar with the local traffic laws and regulations.
- No new driving license is required abroad. Also, you do not have to take the driving test.
- You will be able to claim insurance in case of an accident abroad.
- An international driving permit (IDP) also serves as an additional form of identification when travelling abroad.
- You can rent a personal car with IDP easily. It is often required by car rental companies for drivers who are not from the country.
How to renew international driving licence after one year
When your international driving permit expires after one year, you can renew it to get a new one. This was not possible previously but now the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) has made it possible through the online application process on the Parivahan Sarathi portal.
You can apply for the renewal of your international driving license online from the foreign country where you are living. This will require you to fill up an additional application form (a copy of which can be downloaded from your respective Indian embassy website).
Then you need to submit the form to the embassy along with the necessary documents such as your expired international driving permit, copy of your passport, original domestic driving license, proof of residence, and passport-size photographs. You also need to pay the required fee (₹2000) in foreign currency.
Once your documents are verified, the embassy will provide you with a certificate and payment receipt. You can then apply for a new international driving permit (IDP) from the Parivahan Sarathi portal online. The procedure to apply is the same as mentioned above. Make sure to attach the documents provided by the Embassy.
Frequently asked questions
An international driving permit is only valid for one year from the date of issue. However, if your domestic driving licence expires before that, your IDP will also become invalid.
An Indian international driving permit is valid in over 150 countries which include the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Arab Emirates, just to name a few. There are some countries where it is not valid so you need to check online whether it is valid for the country you are travelling to.
You will receive it within 4-5 days of submitting your application. Make sure to apply as early as possible so that your IDP arrives on time before you travel.
No, a normal Indian driving license alone is not valid in the USA. You must obtain an international driving permit (IDP) and then only you will be able to drive in the USA legally.
Yes, you can drive in Dubai with an Indian driving license. However, you will need to obtain an international driving permit (IDP) to do so.
No, you cannot get an international driving permit in India without a visa. It is mandatory to fill in your visa details while applying for an IDP on the Parivahan Sarathi portal.
Yes, foreigners and NRIs are allowed to drive in India. However, they need to carry an international driving permit issued from their home country along with their original domestic driving license.
No. Foreigners and NRIs need to apply for an IDP from their home country. An Indian-issued international driving permit is only available for citizens in India.
An international driving permit comes in handy when you are travelling abroad. It gives you the freedom to rent and drive any vehicle of your choice legally.
Furthermore, if you are moving abroad for a year or two, you won’t have to apply for a new driving license in a foreign country. It will also save you from taking the driving test.
So that’s pretty much everything you need to know about this topic. If you have any questions in your mind, do let us know in the comments below.
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